As diverse Joby Mathew’s interests are, they are bound by an inspirational virtue - steely resolve. The pocket-sized powerhouse - a former world arm-wrestling champion in the open category - is aiming for the highest of grounds, quite literally. Having become the first Indian to win gold medals, five of them, in the World Dwarf Games in Michigan, Joby is set to visit New Zealand to clear the ground for obtaining a mountaineer’s license to fulfill his longcherished dream of scaling Mount Everest, no less. The 37-year old, standing at just 3 feet and 5 inches due to stunted growth in his lower limbs, is travelling to New Zealand on December 14 for 20 days to work with a mountaineering club there. “I am determined to climb Mount Everest before 2020. That is a big dream of mine”, Joby told Express. “First, I need to get a mountaineer’s licence. The New Zealand trip will help me towards that end. I need to prove that I can climb Everest by climbing a certain number of smaller mountains. I hope to complete the processes required for getting the license in around one-anda- half years”. His ten-day stay at the Michigan State University in East Lansing has also opened the doors of another possible opportunity - that of featuring in a Hollywood movie. “It was a fantastic experience. A few of the participants at the Dwarf Games have acted in Hollywood movies. After collecting my details and photographs, they told me that I have a good chance of getting a movie where a character is of a stature similar to mine. I expect to hear from them soon. “I consider it a piece of good fortune that I got to meet and compete with the best in the world,” he said. After hopping from one venue to the other with a positivity that has seen him win medals over the years in events as varied as swimming, badminton, fencing and field events in athletics for the differently-abled, he believes his exploits will ultimately serve to bring greater recognition for physically-challenged people and their skills. “My basic aim is to spread awareness on the capabilities of physicallychallenged people. That’s why I am competing in as many events as possible. That way, I hope the government, leaders and other authorities will recognise that physically-challenged people are not to be marginalised. It is sad to note that their abilities are being overlooked in our state. It is high time such attitudes changed. They can do a lot for the society”, he said.